SORCE Sponsors Solar Teacher Workshop
By Marty Snow, LASP, Univ. of Colorado
Who teaches the teachers? SORCE does!
As part of the Extended Mission’s Education and Public Outreach program, Erin Wood of LASP conducted a workshop for high school science teachers on the Sun and climate. A dozen teachers from around Colorado came to LASP for a three-day workshop to learn more about SORCE science. The first day of workshop included lectures on the solar cycle from SORCE scientist Marty Snow. The teachers also gained experience on lab exercises which they could use in their classrooms. The labs involved using magnets to create different shaped magnetic fields and looking at magnetograms to understand the evolution of the Sun’s magnetic field over the course of the solar cycle.
The second day of the workshop was held at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). Randy Russell led the teachers through a series of exercises describing the interaction of the Sun with the Earth’s atmosphere and magnetosphere. NCAR’s facility includes a museum of solar and climate science, and the teachers had a guided tour of the solar displays.
The final day of the workshop was combined with the first day of LASP’s Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. On this day the students and teachers learned about the big-picture interaction between the Sun and the Earth, plus a presentation on space weather by William Murtaugh from NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center. Space weather is a name given to the short term interaction between the Sun and Earth which includes solar flares, coronal mass ejections, and bursts of energetic particles from the Sun. The teachers will be able to take an increased understanding of the science related to the SORCE mission back to the classroom in the coming year.«Return to the Meetings/News page